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How To: Decide if You Should Wear Shorts (or NOT)

by lizard at 06:25 PM on August 07, 2001

I was outside Kinkos, waiting for my daughter, sitting with my eyelevel about ass-high, watching the people walking in and out of the door, and I was inspired to write a public-service-minded column, aimed squarely at people who may be out there right now, wearing shorts, just because they don't know they shouldn't. Oh - not you! I meant those... other people, who aren't you. Or... well, anyway, I sat there thinking up a helpful list, which I tentatively titled “Top Ten Signs You Should Not Wear Shorts”. I came up with these:

  1. If you have to go to the truck scales to get weighed.
  2. Cottage cheese thighs? You *wish* it was that simple.
  3. More than ten square inches of swollen, bulging veins.
  4. Twice as much skin as you need to cover your sagging flesh.

At that point, I was stuck for more list items, but luckily just then my daughter Amanda Jayne came out of Kinkos, and I turned to her for help. She used to hang out at the mall with her friends, giggling and pointing at every fashion or grooming error in sight; they called this ‘people watching’ but it was far more cruel than that. I figured she'd be a great source of material. The conversation:

AJ: Hmmm, yes, fat people shouldn't wear shorts...

AJ: ... But, what does it matter in the grand scheme of things if people have some dimples on their butts? What difference does this make in the universe? This is all going to end and begin again, who cares if people wear shorts? Why are we so obsessed with our appearance, that we spend all this money, of course I do it too, but what about living for the moment? Why not just...

[at this point we are stopped at an intersection while a rather large lady ambled across the crosswalk]

AJ: (under her breath) fatty fatty bumbalatty

Me: Uh, I thought it was ok to be fat. The universe...

AJ: Not if they walk slow in front of your car!

So, there you have it, from the expert, self-appointed chief of the Fashion Police herself: Go ahead and wear shorts. Hell, wear Daisy Dukes if the urge strikes you! Wear whatever you darn well please! Spandex! Thongs! Be free, live for the moment! Never mind that loose-fitting, lightweight cotton slacks or a skirt would be just as comfortable, and *so* much more attractive.

Just make sure you don't walk slow in front of my car.

comments (22)

Ewwww KD that is ucky baby! This HAS to be one of those "Know whats grosser than gross?" Thangs! You should be here in Dallas where it is so freaking hot all the time! Talk about gross things walking by your car! Woman dont care when they are hot! I mean they REALLY don't care! I, personally CARE! More than once I have actually had to turn my head! And, shaking my head up and down reading this, there really are some people woman and men who should not wear shorts! Sad, but so true!

by Pristine at August 7, 2001 8:33 PM

oh yeah i thought of another one for that list, but it really falls under the ‘need a truck scale’ category: when the thigh-friction makes the shorts ride up into the crotch (& they don't have the common decency to pull them back out of there, they just get all sweaty &...) uggggghhhhhhh.

by kd at August 7, 2001 8:40 PM

From the bad samaritan archive (october 5, 2000) comes this public service anouncement about the use of backless shirts:

Before you put one of these things on, ask yourself a question:

"Can the rolls of fat on my back possibly be mistaken for a second set of breasts?"

If the answer is yes, or even a maybe, then you should steer clear if this particular fashion trend.

That and cheesburgers.

by mg at August 7, 2001 9:06 PM

OMG it just keeps getting worse....ewwwwwwww! :0)

by Pristine at August 8, 2001 2:06 AM

Although there are those of us who should be in better shape yet still have a pretty nice ass & legs. In that case I think (hope) the shorts are OK. I don't walk slow in front of traffic - that's an LA thing, I swear.

by Charles at August 8, 2001 10:33 AM

There is nothing so conducive to keeping me at a reasonable weight & shape than the prospect of not being able to face wearing shorts in summer-time. I draw the line at actually doing anything about it tho' - like exercise or dieting - I think it's just the worrying that does it :)

suey-motto: wear shorts and make the sun shine!

by suey at August 8, 2001 10:43 AM

Stupidly, I actually listen to people like you who pass judgement on people. I have never worn shorts in public because I am ugly. Even when it was 90, even 100 degrees. Thanks a lot. You have messed with my head. I don't even want anyone to see my body ever. Things like this hurt people's feelings really bad!

by xyz at December 15, 2001 7:52 PM

for the record, *I* don't wear shorts in public.

also, this is (at least an attempt) at something called "humor". lighten up, already!

by kd at December 15, 2001 10:13 PM

It's not funny. Saying lighten up doesn't make it less painful. How about people just leaving people alone about their looks instead? Why don't you wear shorts? Is it because of shame?

by xyz at December 16, 2001 12:01 PM

totally agree - the muttered cry of fatty fatty bombalatty isn't used enough. personally, i thought the whole point of people watching was to be cruel? unless of course you carry a harp, are floaty and the Big One Upstairs is your homey.
however, i find the trend for tight low rider pants with clingy tops a far mroe disturbing sight than summer time shorts. what is with the desire to look as if you have a giant sausage tied around your middle?
ah, what a perfect world it will be when i finally get to make everyone as perfect as me...

by emmalina at July 4, 2003 1:51 AM

totally agree - the muttered cry of fatty fatty bombalatty isn't used enough. personally, i thought the whole point of people watching was to be cruel? unless of course you carry a harp, are floaty and the Big One Upstairs is your homey.
however, i find the trend for tight low rider pants with clingy tops a far mroe disturbing sight than summer time shorts. what is with the desire to look as if you have a giant sausage tied around your middle?
ah, what a perfect world it will be when i finally get to make everyone as perfect as me...

by emmalina at July 4, 2003 1:51 AM

Its cruel people like you who make the world a little bit more screwed up every day. Because of people like you careing so much and making fun of other people, others get hurt. What if... someone like you makes a comment to someone else who isnt all so perfect in the worlds mind, and that victim gets hurt? How would you feel if *you* were the reason behind the reason that some poor girl is sitting in a hospital right now because everyone cared about what she looked like that it drove her crazy. Every day, she would throw up everything she ate. Just so she wouldnt be critisized by someone like you. She threw up so much that she started losing her hair, fainting, and one day this girl had a heart attack and died. What if you became the reason why a 17yr old girl died? Just because you get some kind of sick enjoyment out of putting others down about how they look. Maybe you enjoy it because it makes you feel better, and the people laughing along with you...they feel better too. Maybe you are the one who needs to change, but then again... we are all grotesques.

by Laura at July 22, 2003 3:40 AM

Wow, you all should get something else to talk about instead of all the "fat" people in the world. They probably get enough torment out of thinking about how much they hate themselves because they are so big... I know if I weighed 200 lbs I would think lowly of myself. They are probably working on it now.. But its hard. Give them a break. No ones perfect...

by Megan at April 4, 2004 11:50 AM

fuck you

by F at June 18, 2005 1:49 AM

HIi my name is kayla and my mom is one of those people that tried to make her self better for the world by makeing herself throw up and now when she sees herself when she was thinner in old pictures when she used to go out and go to bars with her friends, now she has to take so many pills for depretion and other things that have to deal with being over wait ....one reason why she has to take pills for depretion is because of so many people in her family dieing , her parents not being suportive of her weight ......but any way she is pretty just because your over weight dosn't mean you can't be pretty there are alot of women that are over weight and are pretty.
My mom was makeing herself get sick for seven years and stoped and it's been two years scince she's done it
Sometimes when she gets depressed she's always saying that she can't stand stombleing over old cloths that were so small , and like i said she's always saying she's gunna end up being baleemic(dont make fun of my spelling lol)
see this is what the world can do to people because of them makeing so many posters of people in pretty cloths with the perfect body but some how you never see bigger women on huge bulitine boreds in really pretty cloths
my mom is always saying i'm really pretty i think i am sometimes but only when im wareig makeup i think i need makeup to be pretty but my mom dosen't
and when i was little she was always saying that she wanted me to be a model but now she dose'nt want me to because if you think about it models do have really nice body's but they were bossed around to have that body and they end up being anerexic or how ever spell that, beacause they want to be perfect so they don't get presured anymore
By the way im only 12 turning 13 and i already no what being baleemic and anerexic can do to you so if you are reading this and you arent one of those yet and are thinking about it don't it can screw up your life and self-esteem or the wort thing that could happen is that you can die !!!!!!!

by Kayla at July 28, 2005 10:19 PM

fat women have no reason to live. There should be a bounty on them. Why do they all smell like rancid chicken grease? Generally speaking; fat people have unresolved self worth issues. Make America beautiful, lose some weight. Even better, donate it to Exxon.

by not so big Al at September 28, 2005 11:55 PM

200lbs nothin..... i weight in at a massive 270lbs and i know im fat... (though i think i do carry a lot of muscle and large bones as im not like a space hopper...) i started doing karate and eating less... now i can walk around town past the chocolate stall and not buy any of that delicious smelling freshly made chocolate.... mmmm.... anyway

people who are fat should not wear shorts.... sweating is good for you... keeps the crap out of your body... dont be stupid and throw up to lose weight... just dont eat the damn food in the first place!!! eat less not nothing, a body eating nothing goes into "starvation mode" and puts everything into fat reserves and uses minimal energy... eat small amounts more often... instead of eating 3 dinner plate fulls per day... eat 6 half dinner plate fulls a day... that increases your metabolism and helps to lose weight

and dont forget the number 1 secret to dieting... it doesnt work... as soon as you stop dieting your weight goes back up... the only permenant way to lose weight is through exercise and healthy... NORMAL... eating...

anyway... oh yeah... shorts are crap... i hate shorts... i have 1 pair of shorts and they are actually a pair of jeans that i cut off at the knees because i tore the cartiledge in my knee and it needed looking at and being overweight i decided not to take my trousers (pants as you americans call them) off.

also if you want to wear shorts for the heat... wear light coloured, 100% cotton ones that come down to your knees that are "comfort fit".

now im going out to do some walking... you know that thing thats like exercise and useful as it gets you places... 5000 steps a day and healthy eating will make the weight drop off you!!... try it you fellow fatties out there...

also the last person that called me a fatty fatty bombalatty (or something similar) is now having his jaw wires taken out after 3 months of eating purreed food... dont just take it fatties... smack em one right in the kisser... lean your weight into it and give em one in the ribs... i guarantee it will make a nicer person out of them when they can talk/breath/eat solid food again...

by dave at October 11, 2005 9:33 AM

Well in that case than fat people should not wear anything becasue it wont look good and they should not even leave the house (sarcastic). OMG, your daugter is making fun of people right in front of you and you are not doing anything about it? You are a very shitty mother. I came accross this website by accident becasue I am doing researh about bullying in schools and I have seen first hand what happens with when people like you have children like that. I am a school teacher. There have been suicides becasue of mean and nasty children and I always try to say that it is not the parents, thats just the way children are, but you are the problem and you are again a terrible mother. You get your kicks off of your daughter making fun of fat people and you condone it? What is wrong with you? Its people like you that make my job hard. Grow up and teach your children to do the right thing.

by cher at May 31, 2006 6:10 PM

I just found this website my mistake and can not believe what a bunch of fuckwits you guys are. Sitting and taking the piss out of people as they walk pass, and encouraging your twat of a daughter too? You should be ashamed of yourselves And you no what would make you and your daughter more attractive - a coffin.

by LJ at September 28, 2006 3:09 PM

this is the sort of behaviour that causes so many people to get depressed, anorexix and bulimic. I'm not stick thin myself, but if I was, I would be ashamed of myself to (i) actually think, let alone talk, like that, and (ii) let a friend or younger child talk like that. I am only 14, but when I was 12, I had a friend who was anorexic. She was 12 too. She's very skinny now, and was actually thin to start with. Her anorexia kicked off because somenone told her she was fat. UK size 10 is not fat. She is now a UK size 4 / 6. This is a US 0. I would feel so guilty if I had a child (obviously I don't!) and I let him or her treat other women in a disrespectable way. My mother taight me never to judge anyone, and your judgement here is no different than a racist or age-ist comment. It is definitely bullying. I am also disgusted by some of the comments, especially by *emmelina*. No offence, but you sound like a bloody bitch. Also, if the world was the other way round, you would hate being prejudiced against because you were thin. You should read about Beth Ditto (from Gossip) . She is amazing and is beautiful the way she is.

by Hannah Miriam Brady at June 16, 2007 5:01 AM

I agree with the last comment, i am by no means overweight, but i know many people who are, including my father. As a child my father was always overweight (i cant stand to say fat) and was bullied for this constanly. Now, my father can't wear shorts, or go for a swim, not even in a private pull with just his family, thats how low his self-esteem is due to people like the woman who posted this and her daughter, both of you are ignorant, stupid bitches. I agree with "cher", u are a horrible mother and shuld be ashamed of urself, if ur daughter talks like that, smack the bitch across the face, if u let her talk like that, i hope sumoneelse cums and smack sum sence into u, or even better, do the world a favour and drop dead, im tellin u now, if the world were full of fat people it would be a better place, much much better.

by hmmm at December 4, 2007 9:45 AM

This article was just disgusting. I'm sick of people doing this to others. Especially your daughter, lizard. I hope she gets the worst in her life, and I never thought I'd actually say that without meaning it. What a fucking bitch, and even though I hope her school life becomes hell, I also hope that she'll somehow get the fuck away from your sick mentality and learn that being fat is NOT something new.

Neither is the thicker of legs in shorts new.

Having a bigger body does not mean you have to limit your style of clothing. Though it's not to say dress yourself in skanky attire, you should be able to at least be free to wear the clothing of your choice without having to take shit from others.

People have different bodies, and even if it may look vile to others (believe me, we've all had our little "ehck" moments over someone's outfit, but not all of us make nasty comments about it or pay long periods of attention over it), it should be okay to wear what you want so long as you're comfortable and not putting your ass in front of someone's face.

Society (at least in America; I can't speak for the countries I don't live in as I don't know their views on beauty) seems to have sugarcoated this idea that being thin equals beauty and sex appeal. It's gotten so bad that we can't bare to see a bit of fat in our face. It's as though a serial killer walked into the room or something.


If you don't like someone's style, body, or any other aspect of their appearance, do something that is very, VERY simple:


You're entitled to have an opinion, but don't have some fucking conference meeting as you gawk at the people who don't match up to your superficial and nearly unrealistic standards.

You seem to fail to properly comprehend what creates a considerably large person.

1. Genetics
2. Disease (elephantiasis, for example, where the fat tissues overlap mainly in the legs and.../other/ parts)
2. Poor diet
3. Depression
4. Bad Medical Reaction (thus why Courtney Love ended up gaining 60 pounds at one point, though I personally feel she was still extremely beautiful)
5. Pregnancy, before and after
and many other reasons.

So what are you going to do if your daughter puts on a couple of pounds, or you gain weight as you grow old? Are you going to snicker and let your daughter mutter things about you?

Before you start judging people like that, put yourself in their place. By simply FEELING fat, you start to go through so many emotions, which, as others mentioned, may lead to an eating disorder.

When I weighed 115 at 4'8" during the 6th and 7th grade, there were some kids that enjoyed telling me I was a "fat dyke", simply because I had chin-length hair and some thighs (which I still do, but they're thinnning out somewhat). The hostility expressed from those around me got so intense during the year that when my science teacher assigned us seats, one girl refused to sit next to me because I was a "fat lesbian".

I wore jeans. Not once did anyone see me in shorts, even before the teasing started.

It got to the point where my family started making comments about how fat I was/am.

Well, guess what happened?

I started throwing up.
I'm not going to start saying I'm bulimic, because I'm not. The situation wasn't that severe. But it started becoming a habit, where one day each week started progressing into once every night, to once in the morning and once at night every day, with each "session" lasting about an hour or two at the least.

I ended up losing ten pounds over the summer because of it, but it's made me realize that even now, I'm not as happy as I wish I could be. I still struggle with my self esteem, as I have since I was about five or six, and even with a thinner exterior, the days I spend in my "bad mode" remain.

I've grown to not care anymore. Why? Because assholes like you are the ones who get cheated, screwed over, and left for nothing but a materialistic, sad, lonely life when your body is no longer attractive enough to your rich husband for sex and eye candy to impress his (or, possibly, her) friends.

I'm sorry I had to give you my "sob story". But it seems that you both need a couple stories like mine.

by anonymous at December 19, 2007 8:15 PM

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